Date of Award




Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Department of Public Administration and Policy

Content Description

1 online resource (viii, 402 pages) : color illustrations

Dissertation/Thesis Chair

R. Karl Rethemeyer

Committee Members

Victor Asal, Gwen Moore, Yvonne Harrison


Cross-Sector Analysis, Elite, Network Analysis, Nonprofit, Nonprofit organizations, Corporations, Elite (Social sciences), Business networks

Subject Categories

Business Administration, Management, and Operations | Public Administration


This dissertation analyzes the boundaries between the nonprofit and for-profit sectors using network analysis on interlocking directorates. Drawing upon data that contains over 26,000 directors and 1000 organizations, it seeks to identify the nature of the network between the largest organizations in American society and addresses how it might explain recent marketization trends in the nonprofit sector. The “biznification” of the nonprofit sector has caused some alarm amongst nonprofit scholars and this dissertation adds another layer to the discussion by looking at the directors of the nonprofit and for-profit sectors. Seeking to identify any differences in the network brought on by the economic crisis, the analysis examines fiscal years 2006 and 2009. This dissertation reviews the literature on Elite Theory, Resource Dependence Theory, Power-Dependence Theory and isomorphism, in order to answer the question, has the nonprofit sector elite joined the for-profit sector elite at the board level. Using two-mode affiliation network analysis on interlocking directorates, it captures the percentage of large nonprofits that are closely associated with top for-profit companies. The results show that Elite Theory needs to be updated to include the elite in the nonprofit sector in their own right and that the nonprofit sector and public sectors need to be aware of the possible effects of marketization via boards of directors and its potential effects on the fabric of American organization.